Friday, January 03, 2014

Movie Review - The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street


Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Christin Milioti, and tons more.

Directed by: Martin Scorsese Screenplay by: Terence Winter Based on the Book by: Jordan Belfort Cinematography by: Rodrigo Prieto

Premise: Follow Jordan Belfort as he enters the world of stock trading. His triumphs, his discoveries, his loss. As well as the fickleness and obsurdity that is life. (Rated R)

Review:

1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: DiCaprio was outstanding as Jordan Belfort. He delivers both the highs and the lows of Belfort's life as well as his impassioned charisma. Jonah Hill, as Belfort's crazy partner Donnie, couldn't have been a better foil for the insane antics perpetrated by the two partners. Everyone in the cast fit perfectly and looked to have the same insane intensity as the rest.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Yes, though this is a film about the stock market and fraud, there were definitely some special effects in play at several spots. There's one at the very beginning of the film which involves a helicopter. Several others follow later towards the end of the film. The waves, the ship, and the plane - you'll know the spot when you get there.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The film is 180 minutes long (three hours) - and while it slows down a little towards the end, you definitely won't notice the time flying by for at least two of those hours. The R rating is on the extreme range, so be warned. This is definitely not for younger viewers or a date movie. Lots of graphic scenes as well as profanity and drug use, so the rating should be taken seriously.

The story starts at the height of Jordan's rise, then takes you back to the start before proceeding forward. Jordan narrates off and on during the story, which added a lot of flavor to the tale. And surprisingly, there was an overflowing amount of comedy. There's one scene where Jordan suffers a delayed reaction from a drug that will have you in tears.

This is a story about ambition, of what we all want out of life, and how sometimes even if we get what we thought we wanted, it really isn't. The absurdity in so many of the scenes will have you shaking your head, but you won't doubt they probably happened very close to how they're portrayed.

The film plays a very subtle dichotomy between Jordan and Agent Dehnam. There's a very poignant scene right before the end which is easy to miss - yet it spoke volumes when you think about what the agent has accomplished by the end of the film, yet where we find him at that particular moment.

4) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Since Jordan narrates during different parts of the movie, the cinematography got a little fun in places. At others it was used in sweeping arcs, as boastful of what they were showing as the man speaking about them. During several points, the shots morphed as locations or people grew or changed, yet at the same time remained the same. The chosen locations for the different scenes throughout gave the film a lot of flavor.

Conclusion: The Wolf of Wall Street is a wild ride taking us to the edge of insanity. The R rating should be taken seriously for extreme amounts of nudity, profanity, and drug use. Much to our surprise, however, the film was quite funny and even hilarious in places.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

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